Part of the group of undocumented migrants who landed in the Algarve in September fled this morning from the army headquarters of Tavira, where they were waiting for their removal from the country, said a source from the Foreigners and Borders Service ( SEF).

At stake are, according to the SEF, 17 of the 28 members of the group that landed on the Deserta island, in Faro, and which was later, by court order, placed in the custody of the SEF until their removal from Portugal due to irregular entry into the country.

The group also included three women, one pregnant, and a minor, but only the 24 men in the group were in the barracks of the Army’s No. 1 Infantry Regiment in Tavira, SEF said in a statement.

“The Foreigners and Borders Service confirms the escape, this morning, of 17 of the 24 foreign citizens installed in the Barracks of the Infantry Regiment no. 1 of the Detachment of Tavira, where they were doing the prophylactic quarantine, after two of them accused positive à covid-19 ”, the note reads.

The same source added that “the police authorities have already located two citizens, one of whom was transported to Faro Hospital, after being injured in one foot during the escape, and the other is in the PSP facilities in Tavira”.

In addition to the 24 men installed in the Tavira barracks, the three women who were part of the group “were installed in the Santo António Housing Unit, in Porto”, while the “minor was handed over to the Family and Minors Court in Faro”, clarified the SEF.

“All the necessary mechanisms have already been put in place on the ground to locate the citizens concerned, in conjunction with the other national and Spanish criminal police bodies,” said the service that oversees the stay of foreigners in Portugal.

Migrants from North Africa were intercepted on the island of Deserta on September 16 and were later heard in the Faro Judicial Court for irregular entry and stay in national territory, and their removal from national territory was applied as a precautionary measure.

The vessel on which the 28 migrants arrived on the island is about seven meters long and is similar to those used in the other five illegal landings registered in the region since December.